The latest figures from Statistics South Africa are slightly above the impact industry body Minerals Council South Africa had predicted for 2020, of an 8-10% hit on production due to COVID-19 and the subsequent nationwide lockdown.
The figures showed a continuing annual decline in the country's mining production, with the 10.7% slump in 2020 following a 0.5% decrease in 2019 and a 1.5% drop in 2018.
The slight rise in December mining production, year-on-year, is likely due to mines being hobbled 12 months earlier due to unprecedented power outages.
Mineral sales were up 23.8% year-on-year in December.
Stats SA said the largest positive contributor was iron ore, up 59% and contributing 8.2 percentage points, followed by platinum group metals up 24.6% and 7.4 respectively.
The seasonally-adjusted value of mineral sales at current prices for the fourth quarter was 4.1% higher than for the third quarter.
South Africa-based PGM and gold producers have flagged the prospect of bumper earnings despite the impact of COVID-19, thanks to higher commodity prices and a weaker rand.
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